Saturday, May 24, 2014

Petit Pains Au Lait ( French Milk Bread / Rolls ) We knead to Bake # 17


For this months we knead to bake , this was the bread choosen. Petit Pains au Lait - That’s French for small or little milk breads . They may be simple but they are elegant looking and really good.
The dough for Pains au Lait is slightly rich but not as rich as brioche dough. The liquid in this bread is milk (no water or anything else), and of course, there’s a generous amount of butter though not too much. Pains au Lait typically have just a hint of sweetness in them and the pearl sugar that dots the surface adds a little more.
   They’re a beautiful golden brown on the outside, and almost flaky on the inside because of the way the dough is rolled and shaped. Then they’re decorated by cutting through the top with scissors in a manner which results in the beautiful pattern typical of Petit Pains au Lait.

Petit Pains au Lait (French Milk Bread/ Rolls)

2/3 cup warm milk (you might need a little more; I used milk with 3% fat)
1 tsp instant yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup bread flour*
1/4 tsp salt
60gm butter, soft at room temperature
Extra milk for brushing
Pearl sugar for topping (optional)**

*If you don’t have bread flour, put 2/3 tsp vital wheat gluten in your 3/4 cup measure and top up with all-purpose flour. Mix this well.
If you don’t have vital wheat gluten, then just use 3/4 cup all-purpose flour.
**This topping is optional. The pearl sugar looks pretty and adds a little crunch. You can also use large crystals of sugar or a bit of regular granulated sugar.

You can knead by hand or use a machine. I used my hand food processor. Put the warm milk, yeast and sugar in the bowl. Pulse a couple of times to mix. Then add all the flour and the salt and run the processor until it looks crumbly. Add the butter and knead until you have a soft, smooth and elastic dough that’s not sticky. Add a little more milk (in teaspoonful at a time), if your dough is dry, until you have the required consistency of dough.
Shape the dough into a ball and place it in an oiled bowl, turning it over to coat with oil. Cover loosely and set aside to rise until double in volume. This should take about 1 1/2 hours.

 Turn the dough out onto your working surface. You shouldn’t need any flour, but if you feel the need, just lightly dust your palms with it. Deflate the dough gently, and divide it into 10 equal pieces. Let them rest for 15 minutes.
Roll out each piece of dough, one at a time, into a circle about 4” in diameter. Slowly roll up the circle from one end, Swiss roll/ jelly roll style into a cylinder. Pinch the seam closed neatly, and place them on a greased or parchment lined baking sheet with the seam side facing down. Cover loosely and let them rise for an hour or so till almost double in size.
Brush them lightly with milk +sugar and using a pair of sharp scissors, make diagonal cuts (not too deep) on the top of the rolls. Sprinkle pearl sugar/ granulated sugar.

Bake them at 200C (400F) for about 15 minutes or so until they’re golden brown. Let them cool ona rack. Serve them warm or at room temperature with coffee or chilled flavoured milk, or at breakfast.

This recipe makes 10 Petit Pains au Lait. They’re best eaten the same day, though you could warm them up and serve the next day.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Korean Ginger Cookies - 매작과 – Maejakgwa - Fried Ribbon cookies

    Here , I am posting a recipe from a country which was in the same continent as mine. This was the first recipe I tried from Korean cuisine . Koreans eat rice in most of their meals similar as south Indians.


    Well , I became a die hard fan for the Korean dramas these days. My desire to cook recipes from this cuisine was in my mind for a long time. I came through many of the recipes , though I find this cookie is easy to make .  Will try to post many recipes from this cuisine in future. I say this cookie was shown in the drama Sunkywanan scandal , where the heroine goes to market to buy snacks for her family , they showed this cookies.

  Maejakgwa is a Korean treaditional cookie. It is a variety of hahngwa or Korean traditional confection , consisting of wheat flour , vegetable oil , ginger juice and pine nuts. It is sliced thinly and slit , then flipped over after squeezing one end into the slit . the cookies are then fried in oil , coated with sugar syrup and sprinkled with pine nuts and cinnamon powder.

  Maejakgwa gets its name from its shape , which is similar to a sparrow ( Jak ) in an apricot ( Maehwa) tree .
  The ingredients are simple yet the flavor and taste are superub. This cookie is very crunchy.
Requirements :
For Cookie :
All purpose flour – 2 cup
Salt – ½ tsp
Sugar – 1 Tbs
Ginger grated / juice – 1 Tbs
Water – ½ cup
Oil for frying
For sugar syrup :
Sugar – ½ cup
Water – ½ cup
For topping :
Crushed pinenuts
Cinnamon powder
Method :
 In a large bowl , add the flour , ginger grated , salt , sugar and mix well.
 Add in half cup of water and knead well for about 20 minutes.
 If using food processor , 2 minutes is enough.

Place this cookie dough in a plastic bag and let it rest for 30 minutes.
Take the dough and roll it out with the rolling pin into a rectangular shape ( about 50 cm x 40 cm and 2 mm or 1/16 inch thick ).
Cut the sheet of cookie dough into little 2 cm x 6 cm rectangles.
Make three slits in each rectangle.

Push one end of dough through the center slit to make a ribbon shape.

Make all the dough into ribbon shape.

Heat oil in a wok or frying pan , fry the cookies till golden brown.
Place all  fried cookies on absorbent paper to absorb excess oil.
Making of sugar syrup :
In a pan , add the sugar and water together and bring to boil in low heat for 20 minutes.
The syrup must reduced to half or till one string consistency.
Now , place the cookies in a large bowl , add this sugar syrup and toss gently , so the syrup coats on each cookies.

Sprinkle cinnamon powder and chopped pinenuts on top.

Flavorful  ginger cookies is ready to serve.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


 Pongal was the famous southindian breakfast , which will be everyones favorite. Pongal has a sweet version and spice version , the spice version is called as venpongal.
Venpongal is a combination of rice cooked with lentil and tempered with cumin and pepper. This pongal with the aroma of ghee is served with sambar and chutney.

   I thought of making this pongal more flavourful by adding methi leaves – fenugreek leaves and the outcome was the tasty methi pongal.

 Methi / fenugreek leaves is considered to control blood sugar level and it is a natural coolant to the body in this hot summer.

Ingredients :
Raw rice / pacharisi – 1 cup
Split moong dhal – ¼ cup
Ghee – 1 tbs
Cashew – 4
Cumin – ¼ tsp
Pepper corns – 6
Curry leaves
Red chilly – 1
Salt as required
Fenugreek leaves chopped – 4 tbs

Method :
 Soak the rice and dhal for 30 minutes.
Wash thrice well with more water.
In a pressure cooker , add the soak and washed rice and dhal together.
Add 3 cups of water and required salt , cook for two whistles.
Heat the ghee in a pan , add the cumin and pepper let it fry.
Add the cashew , red chilly and sauté till golden brown , add the chopped methi leaves and sauté well.
Add this tempering to the cooked rice and mix well.
Serve with sambar and chutney